Last week, in San Francisco, California, EPA held a listening session on its proposed withdrawal of America’s Clean Power Plan, EPA’s ambitious 2016 plan to slash carbon dioxide pollution from power plants. Fifteen moms and fifteen children from Nevada and California joined voices with hundreds to tell EPA staff that they oppose dismantling the most significant rule to address climate change that the US has on the books.
As the listening session unfolded that morning, dozens of citizens, youth, and public officials gathered on the steps of the San Francisco City Hall to raise their concerns. Jennifer Ann Cantley, Nevada Field Organizer, spoke to the crowd about why cleaning up climate pollution is so important for her family.
Please read what Jennifer Ann had to say on the steps of City Hall:
Today I am here to use my voice to protect the America’s Clean Power Plan, because my children, and all children, deserve to be protected from climate change, today and in the future. As a mom, this is so important to me. It’s my job as a mom to nurture and protect my five children. That’s why I oppose with all my heart the destruction of America’s Clean Power Plan. Everyone who has a child or who cares about children should be raising their voices against this reckless rollback.
Climate change is real, it’s happening now, and we need to take action as a nation to address this problem. Where I live in Nevada, I can see and feel its impacts almost every day. Last year, three floods hit the Carson Valley within two months. That’s extreme weather and climate change makes it worse. Warmer temperatures and more frequent drought caused by climate pollution are making wildfires more dangerous and last longer.
My middle son suffers from asthma that is directly triggered by smoke. When wildfires become worse, his asthma becomes triggered. I am constantly in fear of how well my son is breathing. If I don’t stay on top of it, monitoring his health and protecting him from bad air days, it could kill him. As his mom, I do not accept doing nothing as a viable response to climate pollution that is directly endangering his life.
Nothing is more precious to me than the health and safety of my children. The proposed rollback to America’s Clean Power Plan is an affront to American moms and dads like me who want to protect the health of our children. America’s Clean Power Plan could prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and 300,000 missed work and school days by 2030. It is the most significant action the US has ever taken to address climate change. Without it, my son, and all other children will face increased risks from air pollution, heat waves, extreme weather, infectious disease, rising sea levels, and much more.
Carson City moms. Reno moms. Nevada moms. California moms. American moms. We all want solutions to this problem. We want our children to be healthy and happy. To breathe clean air. To drink clean water. To enjoy the healthiest of futures. Parents across the country are waking up to the urgency of this issue. We demand that our leaders take action now. We want to keep America’s Clean Power Plan. Our children are depending on it.
The San Francisco listening session was one of three scheduled in response to public outcry after EPA held just a single public hearing in West Virginia in November. EPA will hold one more listening session, in Gillette, Wyoming, on March 27. EPA is accepting written comments into the public docket until April 26.